Rick Warren

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FIRST-PERSON: The secret of a loving church

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--One of the reasons for Saddleback Church’s growth is that we’ve maintained a harmonious atmosphere. When a church loves, it attracts people like a magnet. When a church really offers love to each other and those who are welcomed into it, you’ll have to lock the doors to keep people out!

FIRST-PERSON: The evangelistic power of worship

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--I'm often asked, "How can a service be both a worship service and seeker-friendly?"

FIRST-PERSON: Always preach for commitment — and expect a response!

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--When we were getting ready for the first service of Saddleback Church 26 years ago, I planned to extend a traditional "come forward" altar call at the end of the service. It was the way I’d always done it. I’d been a Southern Baptist evangelist! But as I concluded my first message in the Laguna Hills High School theater, I suddenly realized I had two problems:

FIRST-PERSON: One reason churches grow

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--In 1974, I served as a student missionary to Japan. I lived with a Southern Baptist missionary couple in their home in Nagasaki. One day, while rummaging through the missionary’s library, I picked up an old copy of HIS, a Christian student magazine published by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

FIRST-PERSON: Pastor, how big is your vision?

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--Over the years, I've learned that –- contrary to popular opinion -– the bigger the vision, the easier it is to reach that vision, and, ultimately, the size of a pastor's vision should be determined by the size of God.

FIRST-PERSON: Bouncing back from failure

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--Have you ever made a mistake? Welcome to the human race. It just means you’re alive. The Bible says in James 3:2, "We all stumble in many ways." We’re all living proof of this verse. But everybody wants to be a success –- nobody wants to be a failure.

FIRST-PERSON: The church — the greatest force on earth

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--The Church is the most magnificent concept ever created. It has survived persistent abuse, horrifying persecution and widespread neglect. Yet despite its faults (due to our sinfulness), it is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years.

FIRST-PERSON: The motive behind your Great Commission mission

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--God has given every believer, in every one of our churches, a mission -– to go into the world and share the Good News about Jesus. Why? Why should we care enough about the people around us to tell them about how to get to Heaven? This can be a difficult concept to teach our congregations. How do we motivate them to take the Good News and share it with others? Here is something that might help.

FIRST-PERSON: Turning attendees into a part of the family

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--"Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God's very own family ... and you belong in God's household with every other Christian" (Ephesians 2:19).

FIRST-PERSON: 6 ways the church can attack the AIDS crisis

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--Have you ever had a conversation that changed the direction of your life?